Boston High School: Kevin Moran

Div. 4 Finals: St. Mary's (Lynn) 70, Cathedral 64

March, 13, 2012
BOSTON -- The St. Mary’s of Lynn players had to be told to stop celebrating with their fans after their 70-64 Division 4 State Championship win over Boston Cathedral High School Monday.

As the teams prepared to line up for the postgame trophy presentation, the St. Mary’s student section roared loudly, and its players did not want to keep them waiting. Before the ceremony could begin, the team walked over to its fellow students and literally crawled over folding chairs and the barrier to get to them.

After a few moments, St. Mary’s coach Kevin Moran and tournament administrators told them to get back to the court, and the trophy presentations commenced.

“It’s unbelievable, words can’t describe how I feel right now, they really can’t,” said St. Mary’s senior guard Nick Gagliolo (19 points).

It was not a normal state championship battle, where teams are more than likely to play a team it had only scouted from afar and never played before. That was not the case with Cathedral (18-7) and the Spartans (21-4), who are conference foes.

The two teams met twice during the regular season, with each team taking a game.

“It’s better (to play a team you’ve seen before),” said Gagliolo. “There was no surprises. Obviously we played them twice, and they were battles both games. It was great that we came out successful today.”

The two teams went back and forth in the first quarter, but St. Mary’s was able to get out to a lead in the second, outscoring the Panthers 15-8 in the quarter, and took a 32-23 lead into the half.

“We knew they had five or six athletes there that were going to come after us,” said Moran. “We tried to get on their three-point shots, and I think our offense started to flow a little bit. Once that did, it kind of made it a little easier for us.”

The St. Mary’s lead remained around 10 points throughout the third. It was not until the final quarter that Cathedral made a run, cutting the St. Mary’s lead to 62-58.

“On their run, our focus was that we had to stop them on transition,” said junior guard Randolf Thurman. “We had to box everybody out and then we also had to run through our plays and keep our composure.”

Cathedral’s Kyle Lawyer (26 points) had 10 points in the final frame for his team, and was a big reason why his team was in the game towards the end.

St. Mary’s didn’t help itself at all, missing 15 free throws throughout the course of the game.

However, it was the timely baskets by Devin Thompson (25 points) and Gagliolo down the stretch that helped St. Mary’s maintain its lead and ultimately win its first state championship since 2002.

Replenished by Randolf: One big difference between this game and the last time the two teams played (a 74-61 Cathedral victory on Feb. 17) was the presence of Randolf Thurman. He missed the last meeting, but came back in a big way, contributing 14 points in the win.

“We play some great, great kids, but from my perspective he’s the best guard around that I’ve seen,” said Moran. “He can do it all. He had assists, points, steals, rebounds. He’s just the guy that makes us go.”

“He wasn’t here the last game, but I think, the other thing about our team that is unusual is that we have so many different parts. We have guys like Matt Manning, who doesn’t get in the scorebox a whole lot, we have the scorers, then we have the point guard, and guys that get in there and play some roles for us.”

Spartan Pride: This championship is special for lots of reasons for St. Mary’s. While it is the culmination of a season’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears for a team, for St. Mary’s, it means the basketball team keeps pace with its other winter sports teams.

“Our school’s doing really well right now,” said Thurman. “Hockey teams, girls basketball team, and we just wanted to make our mark in the school and make our school proud.”

Recap: Boston Cathedral 74, St. Mary's 61

February, 17, 2012
BOSTON — Cathedral head coach James Hauser has been mixing and matching his lineup for the past couple of weeks with some key players out of commission.

He got a little order restored to the lineup just in time to help the Panthers climb to the top of a crowded Catholic Central League large division.

Joe Green scored 13 points and came up with a big steal to spur a pivotal run with three minutes left to go in the game, and Kyle Lawyer added toughness on the post with 12 points and five rebounds to give Cathedral a 74-61 victory over St. Mary’s (16-6) on Friday night at home.

Both players were academically ineligible, and now return with a chance to help the Panthers get some rhythm back for a push in the MIAA tournament.

“They are our two leading scorers, so we’ve been playing without them,” said Hauser, whose team will share the league title at 9-3 in the conference with St. Mary’s, Cardinal Spellman and Arlington Catholic. “We are very fortunate that we have this February break. We get to come and practice and help us get ready for the tournament.”

The Panthers scored the first eight points of the game, but then struggled against the zone defense by St. Mary’s as the visitors went on an 18-2 run to take a 18-10 lead.

“That’s our eighth starting lineup this year,” said Hauser. “We just got three of those guys back today, so they haven’t played in six weeks. They are just trying to find their chemistry again with their teammates and I think that’s what it was.”

Green and Lawyer started to find some cohesiveness at the end of the half as the two hooked up twice to give the Panthers a 31-28 lead at the break. Green broke down the lane and found Lawyer for an easy bucket. Green then got to a loose ball at halfcourt and got it to Lawyer wide open on the break for a two-handed dunk.

Devin Thompson hit a three-pointer in the third quarter to cut the Panthers lead to 57-54 and then forced a turnover, but Green took the ball right back and put in a lay-up on the break for a big momentum swing.

The Panthers made two straight stops and the offense capitalized with a 3-pointer from Curt Howe and a pair of free throws from Brandon Kelly.

“Our number one standard is defense wins games and rebounding wins championships,” said Hauser. “No doubt in my mind our defense won this game.”

No point for Spartans: The Spartans were without sophomore point guard Randolf Thurman after he banged up his shoulder in the St. John’s Prep game.

At times the offense looked in synch, but there were other times when it was easy to see that the Spartans lacked a leader to direct teammates and get them into scoring opportunities.

“A guy like Thurman is an exceptional point guard,” said Spartans head coach Kevin Moran. “I take nothing away from Cathedral because they played a wonderful game, but I always say that the point guard is the most important position.”

Nick Gagliolo may have been hurt the most by the missing point guard as he was thrust into the role of trying to facilitate in the halfcourt while also looking for his shot. Gagliolo finished with 16 points, but had several uncharacteristic turnovers.

“The ball is in his hand a lot more,” said Moran. “When you are one of the better players around you get a lot of attention defensively.”

Recap: St. Mary's (Lynn) 78, Arlington Cath. 63

January, 30, 2012
ARLINGTON, Mass. — Nick Gagliolo knew at some point that he would set a personal milestone. He just didn’t think it would come in the matter in which it came.

Gagliolo shook off a woeful start from the field to torch Arlington Catholic (10-3) with 25 second half points — surpassing 1,000 points for his high school career — as the Spartans (13-3) rallied from a double-digit deficit to take home a 78-63 victory last night.

The 6-foot-1 senior finished with a game-high 29 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the second half after posting four points at a 10 percent clip in the first two quarters of the game.

“The first half I was thinking about it way too much,” said Gagliolo, who was 15 points shy of the milestone coming into the game. “The second half I was just like I want to win the game and I got my mind off of it. That’s how basketball works.”

Gagliolo’s production mirrored his teams output in the first half as the Spartans settled for jumpers and seemed confused as to what shooting a ball from the inside the arc was really like. Once the Spartans got moving towards the hoop, the rust started to wear off and the shots that were forced and out of rhythm of the offense started to look a little more polished.

The Spartans fell down by 17 at the half, but Gagliolo’s 15th and 1,000th of his career gave wiped away the deficit with the clock striking zero in the third quarter. He maneuvered his way towards the free throw line and pulled up for a elbow jumper just before the buzzer sounded to knot things up at 46.

Gagliolo worked his way to the line on the opening possession of the fourth quarter and hit 1-of-2 at the line to give the Spartans their first lead of the game. He then went on a white-hot tear, hitting three 3-pointers in a row and the shots from the deep weren’t forced like they were in the first. He canned two transition 3-pointers without hesitation, and his final trey gave St. Mary’s a 59-52 lead.

"He’s got length, size and speed,” said Spartans’ head coach Kevin Moran. “He’s more of a slasher type of player and he’s tough to cover because he’s quick and athletic.”

Get to the rim -- and good things will happen: That’s what the message from Moran to his team at halftime was. The Spartans were 3-of-12 from downtown in the first half and went the entire 16 minutes without recording a single offensive rebound, while only taking two foul shots in that span.

“We put them on notice that first-pass 3-point shots are no good,” said Moran. “We lived off that in the first half, and our strength is the team as a group. If we go to the hoop then we are strong and then we can take advantage of our shots. It was moving the ball and getting inside.”

The numbers took on a completely different look for the Spartans after the halftime pep talk. St. Mary’s out-rebounded the Cougars 17-10 — with five of those boards on the offensive end — and it held a 17-2 advantage in free throws attempted in the second half.

“We had a huge talk at halftime,” said Gagliolo. “We were playing awful and we knew that we had to step it up. … It was an all-around team effort.”

Tommy Deveau stole the ball at halfcourt and took it hard to the rim where he had two Cougars draped all over him, but somehow the ball found it’s way into the hoop for the hoop-and-the-harm. Deveau nailed the free throw for a 73-60 lead with 2:01 left in the game to put an exclamation point on the comeback.

Aggressors no more: It was all Arlington Catholic in the first half, as they dominated on the inside and siphoned the ball around to open shooters in good scoring positions.

Robert Wesoloski had 12 points and eight rebounds at the break, and the Cougars held a 25-10 advantage on the boards. But instead of pounding away at the Spartans with the 17-point lead, the Courgars settled for outside shots and looked awfully similar to their opponents from the first half.

“I thought we were getting inside, but when we got it in to (Wesoloski) they were double and triple teaming him,” said Cougars head coach Joel Burke. “Our shot selection was kind of poor and we need to identify those double-teams and kick the ball out to open guys. … We lost to a great team and we have to get back at it tomorrow.”

Boston Publics take on Frozen Fenway

January, 2, 2012

BOSTON -- Every Red Sox fan can remember the first time they walked up the ramps from the dark underbelly of Fenway Park to the bright, vibrant, endless sea of green of the now 100-year-old ballpark.

But those memories usually happen during the summer. A handful of local high school hockey programs got the chance to add a little twist to their Fenway memory bank.

The Red Sox organization kicked off the Sun Life Frozen Fenway event with three high school games on a rink splashed smack in the middle of the infield stretching from first base to third.

The look on Kevin Moran’s face -- who paced Boston Latin Academy in a 4-3 win over East Boston with a hat trick in the opener -- pretty much summed up the entire day for all who participated. Moran needed a minute to kind of gather himself as he gazed around the park before he could put together his thoughts of what he considered a top highlight in his hockey career.

“It was such a privilege,” said Moran. “I still can’t even believe it. I had to take a last skate around the ice just to take it in.”

The Red Sox donated the ice time to the four Boston public schools that participated in the event. Latin Academy had both the girls' and boys' teams play, while the Eastie boys and Boston Latin School girls joined in. The schools were picked at random before the beginning of the season and the teams were told they would be participating in the event when the schedule came out.

“It’s like hallowed grounds out here,” said East Boston head coach Bob Anthony. “Hockey is back in Boston. You can see it with the way the Bruins have been playing the past couple of years. Hockey was down and it’s starting to make a resurgance. Our numbers are low, but we realize that maybe this can be a little bit of a sparkplug for us so to speak.”

Added Dragons boys coach Bob McCormick: “It’s a place where you come to and your grandfather brought you here. I actually graduated from Latin Academy when it was in the shadows of Fenway and it’s really nice. What an excellent opportunity ... It’s even nicer to be able to walk away with a win.”

Win or lose, the players and coaches had the same look that beamed from Moran. It was a look of excitement and pure joy, and the next time they see Dustin Pedroia make a diving play up the middle to save a run, they can say that they vaulted over a bench in that very spot and played in a hockey game.

Video: Latin Academy 4, East Boston 3

January, 2, 2012
BOSTON -- Monday marked the first day of high school hockey action at Fenway Park as part of this year's Frozen Fenway event.

Boston Public School rivals Latin Academy and East Boston rang in the New Year in the first of three games played at America's oldest ballpark.

LA's Kevin Moran highlighted the action with a hat trick while leading the Dragons (2-4-1, 1-0-0) to a 4-3 win over East Boston (1-7-1, 1-1-0).

Jets netminder Sean O'Halloran was the bright spot for the Jets, making 50 saves in the loss.

Kevin Moran:

Latin Academy head coach Rob McCormack

East Boston head coach Bob Anthony:

East Boston G Sean O'Halloran:

Recap: Ed Taylor Holiday Tournament

December, 27, 2011

HINGHAM, Mass. -- No. 5 Marshfield won the Division 1 state hockey title last season and the Rams are looking to take the leap to the Super 8 level and compete with the very best in Massachusetts.

Hingham gave Marshfield a sample of what that might be like on Monday.

The No. 9 Harbormen posted three goals in the first 1:13 of the third period in a flurry of offensive power to take a 5-1 lead en route to a 6-2 victory over the previously unbeaten Rams in the nightcap of the Ed Taylor Holiday Tournament doubleheader at Pilgrim Ice Arena.

Dual senior captains Matt Hughes and James Gordon provided the third period barrage with a pair of goals apiece, with Hughes scoring bookend goals and Gordon sandwiching in two of his own in the four-goal barrage.

“Great effort by both [Hughes and Gordon] of them and Ryan Linehan, all three of our captains contributed and they scored five of the six goals,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “The first two periods, we had equal pressure and were just fortunate enough to get some 2-on-1s and some breaks there. We only scored four goals in the first three games, so it’s not like we were putting the puck in the net so it was good to get a chance to do that.”

Despite controlling the puck for most of the first two periods of play, Hingham (2-2-0) found themselves clinging to a slim 2-1 lead after two periods.

At 10:15 of the first, Matt Brazel went to the backhand off a pass in front from Sam D’Antuono to finally beat Marshfield’s netminder Kevin Moran, who played extremely well in net with 15 saves in spite of the final score, to help Hingham break the scoreless tie.

Right out of the gates of the second period, Hughes filled the right slot and fired a mid-air pass to Linehan off the left post and Linehan slapped the puck out of the air for the quick 2-0 lead 33 seconds into the second stanza.

But Marshfield made things interesting, as Mike Carbone scored his third goal of the season in as many games at 9:35 of the second period off a scrum out in front of the crease. Brennan Quackenbush was credited with the assist and Carbone’s goal cut the Rams’ deficit in half heading into the decisive third period.

“I mean we have size, but we just weren’t playing the way we are supposed to,” Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly said. “We have to play better, not a little better, a lot better and honestly we were lucky to still be in it after two periods. Hingham just wanted it more.”

Hughes’ first tally was 20 seconds into the period right off the opening faceoff on a quick tip-in out in front of the crease. Gordon immediately followed with his two tallies at 13:59 and 13:47 of the third on back-to-back goals, and the rout was sealed.

The Harbormen outshot the Rams 11-1 in the first 7:20 of the third and were on cruise control the rest of the way with a final 21-15 shot advantage.

Even though the season has barely kicked off, Connolly was hoping this was a litmus test of sorts for his squad to take the next step on the ladder and compete for a Super 8 title as Hingham has been to the big dance nine out of the last 10 seasons.

“We are not even close to being ready to compete at this level and the gap there is so big,” Connolly said. “Unless our kids change things around and start listening to what we need to do, we are in some trouble.”

In the opener, Tom Goodwin netted the game-winner with 2:08 remaining in regulation as Weymouth edged Duxbury 2-1 in the opener of the Taylor Holiday Tournament at Pilgrim Arena.

Weymouth (1-1-2) picked up their first win on the young season and advance to the tourney finals to face the host Hingham on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Duxbury will face Marshfield in the consolation tilt at 6 p.m.

“I thought we battled pretty good, got some pucks to the net, but we have a lot of new guys here and lost some size due to graduation, but I think we will get better and better as the year goes along," Green Dragons head coach John Blake said. “We have to keep in the back of our minds that we are young, we play a very tough nonleague schedule, but we do that to find out where we are at and what we need to work on.”

After a scoreless first period, Duxbury (1-3-1) took the lead at 6:48 of the second as Cam Daley put the puck in the back of the net but the lead vanished as Joe Flanagan tied it up only 1:29 later as the Duxbury defense couldn’t clear the zone.

Kevin Stevens, former Bruin and 15-year veteran of the NHL also with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers, was in attendance to watch his son, freshman Luke Stevens, compete for ice time with the Duxbury Dragons.

Stevens, who played his high school hockey at Silver Lake and is now a pro scout in the New England area for the Penguins, likes the way Coach Blake handles the rotations on the ice and knows it will only take time for his son to adjust.

“I like how [Blake] works the young kids in and it seems like he does a really good job but this is only my first year with the Duxbury program,” said the four-time NHL All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion. “The biggest thing with any of these programs is finding the balance to mix in the younger kids with the older kids and my kid is only 14 years old competing with 17-year olds, and [Luke]’s played at a high level all his life, but this year will be different.”